Sep 21, 2009

Thinly disguised campaign piece sent out at taxpayer expense

LANSING - There is little doubt that Sen. Bruce Patterson, R-Canton, is running for Michigan Attorney General, and because the nominee is chosen at the party convention, Patterson has been very busy playing to the base that has taken an extreme right turn.

He got the GOP-controlled state Senate to approve a pair of useless resolutions he introduced that affirm so-called “state’s rights” and “affirm Michigan’s sovereignty under the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.” This ridiculous argument has been a rallying point for extremist right-wingers since the militia was widespread back in the mid 1990s. However, Liberals are picking up on what Patterson is really trying to do.

But what was even more blatant was a so-called “Legislative Survey” he sent to residents of the 7th Senate District at taxpayer’s expense. This so-called survey is the absolute definition of a push poll. The survey is referenced on his tax-payer provided web site, but you can no longer get to it.

It should be noted Patterson is a state Senator, yet only one of the six questions on the survey deals with a state issue; two if you are generous. However, all of the questions are hot button issues with right-wingers.

The first question asks if you are in favor of the federal cap and trade bill. If it wasn’t bad enough that he is using state funds to ask a question about federal legislation, the no option clearly spells out Patterson’s position.

“No, I do not want to pay higher costs when the coal, nuclear and hydro energy available (sic) to sustain our needs.”

That’s a no brainier. Who wants to pay more for their electric bill? The problem is Cap and Trade is not about the availability of dirty energy, it’s about setting limits on pollutants. In fact, just on Friday in a press conference in Lansing, more than 100 doctors, nurses and other medical professionals called on U.S. Sens. Carl Levin, D-Detroit, and Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, to help push climate change legislation through the Senate because it is a threat to public health.

Question 2 is the only state issue, and it is on whether Michigan should be a so-called “right to work state.” The question reads, “Do you believe Michigan should be a right to work state so union membership is not a condition of employment (sic).”

The problem is that the question itself is simply a lie, and union membership is not a condition of employment. The right to work for less scam is just a way to break unions. Federal law already protects workers who don't want to join a union to get or keep their jobs, and gives workers the right to opt out of a union.

The third question is not bad, and it asks a pretty straight forward question on a federal and not a state issue. It asks about the federal stimulus package, but the option for no ensures most people will choose that option: “No, I believe the stimulus will lead us into huge debt that, in turn, will bring on inflation and a declining standard of living.”

Question 4 is on health care coverage: “Do you think health care coverage is a right or a privilege.” The answers are very straight forward, but the no answer adds a few extra words: “I believe health care is a privilege that is earned.” So, does that mean that if somebody deems you are worthy, only then can you receive life saving treatment?

Question 5 is the kicker on health care, and this is a text book example of a push poll question: “Do you believe that the government should control all aspects of your health care, such as testing decisions and end of life counseling?”

Wow. The answer is very obvious, especially if you don’t realize everything he said about health care was a false rightwing talking point. Just to be sure you say no, here’s the choice he proved for yes: “Yes, I think the government knows what is best for me.”

The final question is not much different, and it’s a question on the 10th Amendment, but to make sure you support it, here’s the no answer:

“No, I believe the federal government knows what is best for the states.”

What should happen is Paterson should reimburse the taxpayers for his campaign piece out of the money he has raised for his run for Michigan AG.

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